Chennai: “Now, the right to health has become a fundamental right. The obligation is cast on the State to protect the citizens from health hazards and to provide state of the art free medical facilities”, said the Madras high court while directing the state government to sanction medical reimbursement benefit to a retired Sub-Inspector of Police.
Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana gave the directive while disposing of a petition from K. Kamalakkannan.
According to petitioner, he is a pensioner having retired as Sub-Inspector of Police on August 31, 2017. He is a subscriber to the Tamil Nadu Government’s Health Insurance Scheme, 2014. Due to illness, his wife, who is the beneficiary under the said scheme, was admitted in SBS hospital in Krishnagiri district, which is one of the approved hospitals, covered under the scheme, on April 22, 2017 and underwent treatment till May 14, 2017, and thereafter, she took further treatment at Bengaluru. When the petitioner made a claim petition on June 13, 2017, the Krishnagiri District Treasury Officer rejected the said claim on the ground that the treatment was taken in non-network hospital and it cannot be considered as per the Government Orders in vogue. Therefore, he filed the present petition.
Quoting the judgment of the high court and Supreme Court, the judge said the petitioner was an uniformed service officer and having retired from service, he subscribed the health insurance schemes. His wife underwent treatment at SBS hospital, an approved hospital, for some time, and thereafter, she was given further treatment at Bengaluru. As observed by the Supreme Court, a very little scope was left to the petitioner to decide as to the manner in which the ailment should be treated and it was within the domain of the doctors, who specialised in a discipline, to advise the specialty Hospitals and treatment of specified ailments.
“In view of the categorical directions issued by the Apex court and this court, this court directs the authorities to sanction medical reimbursement benefit to the petitioner, after scrutinising the bills and release the eligible amount within four weeks”, the judge added....